My Story [Updated 9/18/2013]I was born in the summer of 1978 in the small town of Beckley, West Virginia. My parents were only about 16 at the time I was born and were not really prepared to take care of a child at that time. My father had his dad and step-mother watch me for a while until I was about three months old. At that time, my grandparents wanted to adopt me and claim me as their own. The timing of this was right around the time that they had just lost their newborn daughter. So they wanted a child in their life and so I guess they chose me. My father wanted to keep me but my grandmother, his step-mom, demanded that if they were to keep me that they should be able to adopt me. So it was pretty much, he was forced to let them adopt me.
I found out later on in my life that for the first 3 years of my life, they never even took care of me. They dropped me on my step-brother for him to take care of me. Here was a 15 year old boy made to take care of a baby while his parents went out and partied. I lived with my grandparents and only knew of them as my mom and dad up until the age of 11, at which time they told me I was adopted. This was a shock that took a long time to understand and to get over. My brother was really my dad and I had no clue.
I had a lot of issues growing up that made life even that much harder on me. There was a really deep dark secret that I never told ANYONE. A secret that was slowly eating me up from the inside and made me feel like I really wasn't supposed to be in this world. That secret was that I had always felt that I should have been born a girl. That I was transsexual, but I had no knowledge of that word from my protected little world that I was forced to live in. I realized this about the time I was 7 years old while I was finally free to explore everything in the ba
I was being raised by overprotective and abusive grandparents to the point I really had no outside contact with people for the majority of my life. I spent the majority of my life alone in my room, playing games by myself. There were a few times that I was able to interact with people, but only for very short periods of time. I was constantly being praised as being so good and held on a pedestal to other people but after the people had left, I was the worst thing in the world. I was constantly told that I was stupid, useless, good for nothing, waste of space, lazy and plenty more.
There were so many rules to follow that it was hard to know what I could do since I couldn't do much. Wasn't allowed to: put my feet on the couch, get dirty, play in the rain, play in the snow, go farther than they could yell for me, have friends, have anyone over, go over to anyone’s house, be loud or even slightly loud, and the list goes on. I was supposed to go off in my room and play quietly and not bother them. I never had friends and never knew what it felt like to have any.
It wasn't just verbal/mental abuse from them either, it was even physical abuse. If I was in trouble with my grandfather, I would be whipped with a leather belt after pulling my pants down. If it was my grandmother, she would use the same belt but would make me tell her why I was being whipped and she wouldn't stop till I told her.
I wasn't allowed to make my own decisions or to do anything I really wanted to do. I was always made to feel like I was useless and wasn't capable of doing anything on my own or for myself. I was always told to be quiet all the time and couldn't laugh or play loudly inside. I could only play loudly outside and then it was only if they couldn't hear me from inside. If I was even slightly dirty when I came in from playing in the yard, I would be in deep trouble for that. Grounded or whipped for messing up my clothes.
I was promised so many things in my life by my grandparents and so many times I was let down by them. Everyone in the family thought that I just had it made and got everything I always wanted. Sure I had a few nice material things but I lacked everything else that I really wanted. Material things can’t make up for the emotional needs that a child needs/wants.
I was the outcast of the family because everyone thought I had it so well and I didn't have to worry about anything and that it was all just the perfect life. The many times I tried to tell other family members and to reach out for help, only to be told that I am just making it up to get attention. How could someone who has everything they could want/need have the kind of issues that this child was saying?
My life in school was just as bad as it was at home. I was always being picked on and bullied. I was never left alone and always ended up with no friends the whole time I was in school. I was tall and never had the fancy clothes or dressed like other kids would. I wasn't allowed to pick what I wanted to wear so it was what they wanted me to wear. I was the quiet one that just did the school work and left. Eventually, I ended up on home-bound schooling in the middle of ninth grade. I was 15 years old when I went on home-bound, and it was all due to various problems that several doctors had found.
At the age of 15 was a MAJOR turning point in my life. It was at this time that everything had reached a boiling point inside me and I felt as though I was going to just blow up from all the stress from my own internal struggles/issues and from everything that was still going on around me. By the time I reached my 16th birthday, I had managed to keep everything inside and I ended up locking everything inside me forever. Ever since that time, I have never really unlocked or faced those issues. It was like I emotionally and mentally just shut down and resigned myself to watching the world pass me by.
Eventually, my grandmother was diagnosed with breast cancer and ended up becoming bed-fast. My grandfather wasn't in very good shape either as he had been diagnosed with prostate cancer. And to top it all off, they both had really bad eyesight. My grandfather lost one eye when a doctor tried to remove a cataract from his eye and decided to never get the other eye fixed. So it ended up being me that took care of them every day, 24/7 and with not really any help from anyone else. Sure they had a company coming in to supposedly help them out, but they never did their job. All they did was come in and do a couple small things then sit down, watch TV, and drink coffee and smoke cigarettes.
Yet again I would try and reach out to the rest of the family for help and yet again I was rejected. Everyone thought that I was useless and lazy so this was a good time to make me do something for a change. So for over 12 years I would spend every 20 minutes running back and forth doing things for both of them. I was losing what little bit of sanity I had left in a very short time.
So with all the extra stress of doing everything they needed and dealing with my issues, I was about to break. I asked for help and pleaded for help from other family members, but it always fell on deaf ears. I needed a break and no one was going to help me out. I was falling deeper and deeper into a bottomless pit that was consuming me. I saw no way out and only several ways to end what was going on. I had ended up in a crisis center after almost driving the car into a pole at about 55 mph. I wanted it all to end, I was tired of fighting and having to put up with everything else that was being dropped on me.
There is one thing about my grandfather that everyone in our family knows about him and that is his love/lust for money. If you try and get even a dollar from him, he will get seriously upset. He will give you money but you must offer to do something for him that is 100 times more then what he gave you. Like he promised me that he would buy me a vehicle of my own since I was 15 and he finally got me one when I was 29. The catch was, I was only going to be able to keep it for three months, and then he let it go back since he gave me the ultimatum that I could either keep the truck or have my dad come in from Seattle. So just like everything else he “gave” me in my life, he took it away too.
That is how my life was; he would give me something then take it away. Or he would get it then guilt trips me into doing things for them above and beyond what I should have been asked to do. Since he done this to everyone around us and in our family, no one wants anything to do with them and chooses not to even visit because they can’t stand him.
In early summer of 2008, after spending three days walking back and forth from my grandmothers room and back to mine, I finally got the nerve up to tell her what was going on inside me for so many years. So as I was sitting on the side of her bed, I talked to her for hours about the secret I had kept from everyone. I told her all the things I felt and all the reasons I thought I was transsexual. I showed her documentaries and read her information to help her understand it, which she ended up finally understanding and accepting me. So my secret was out, at least to my grandmother and grandfather, and was on what seemed like an ok path.
I had come to the conclusion that when my dad came in to visit from Seattle, I was going to go back with him. I wanted to move as far away from them as I could possibly get and not look back. I moved to Seattle Washington to be with my father to learn about him and for us to connect and bond. That was in the summer of 2008, I was 29 at the time. There was also another reason I wanted to come to Seattle, transgender resources.
When my full brother found out I was here and came to visit, it was great to see him again after so many years of not seeing or talking to him. He was in the Army and was doing really well in it. But everything fell apart when he heard about me transitioning. He was worried about what his kids would be exposed to and he was pissed at me for various reasons, so he pretty much disowned me.
The past few months have been hard to say the least.
In July 2011, my grandmother died after a very long illness. My grandfather told me that she died because she gave up because her only reason for living (me) had left her.
Then in August 2011, I was sexually assaulted outside of this local place that I frequent. (Yay for adding more to my long list of reasons I have PTSD, thanks jackass)
So August 2011 wasn't very good, was hoping that September would be better. Who wants to take a guess as to what is going to come next?
In September 2011, I am diagnosed with Borderline Personality Disorder which blew me away. I come home from my counselor’s appointment and tell my dad the news, to which he says “I wanted to be diagnosed with that!” After that little discussion his attitude and body language just change so drastically. After a bit of discussion over money, my dad kicks me out of the house and I am now living in the ba
I find out later that since I am no longer in the picture, my dad and my brother are now doing things together again, and my dad and step-mom are no longer blocked from contact with his kids now. Something else I managed to cause to happen to my family.
I ended up in the ER in late November 2011 with gallstones and had to have my gallbladder removed. The surgery was on December 6 and I recovered pretty quickly, thank goodness.
In September of 2012, I finally won my hearing for my SSI case. I was finally awarded my SSI after so many years of fighting for it.
In October of 2012, my grandfather passed away in a nursing home after a very long battle with prostate cancer and heart problems. He told me in September that he was glad I had started getting my SSI and that now he could die peacefully knowing I was now going to be OK.
In July 2013, I decided to move back to Beckley, WV. I used the money I got from my grandfather’s life insurance to make the move. It wasn't the amount I was supposed to get but every bit helps. I miss both of my grandparents very much, even after everything that has happened. Things have been progressing slightly as I am on a waiting list that is shorter then it was in Seattle for housing. Hope to have news soon as to whether I will get one or not.
I have been off and on taking my medications, missing a lot of doses and just plain ignoring all the helpful reminders I have setup to make sure I take them.
I have managed to push everyone away and have ended up alone again; sitting here browsing the web and playing games to keep my mind busy. I had a couple friends but my issues and my problems pushed them away and I ended up depressed because I did.
I can’t seem to stop this repeating trend of getting close to people and then pushing them away. I feel I am destined to be alone the rest of my life, since there is no way anyone could be with me in this broken state. My counselor says I am making progress and I am to a point, but not with the things that will get me past this trend. I can’t be outgoing at all, I can only be shy and withdrawn no matter how hard I try and push myself, and so that limits my chances of making friends.
Through all of this I am still alive and trying to move forward. I have PTSD (Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder), GAD (Generalized Anxiety Disorder), Bipolar, Borderline Personality Disorder and severe depression. This has all left me a rather lost soul in a big world that I am far from prepared for. No knowledge of how to deal with anything or of what to do. I feel like even though I am 35, I feel more like 12.
I don’t know what love is or what it feels like. I don’t know what it means to really “feel”. I am tired of being numb or just sad & broken. I wish I could really feel something, anything besides depression and sorrow. Really want the flashbacks of everything that has ever happened to me to stop showing up every time I try to get close to people.
Oh and forget you if you think this is all for a freaking pity party. This isn't here for a pity party or sympathy or anything like that.